Welcome, all, again. Our friends at D’ART SHTAJIO have been busy over the last year, and only two months ago in December brought us the pilot episode of their new animated mini-series The Doll . But I did well in that review to compare them to the staff of Studio Ponoc, because they too are determined to keep the anime coming! Earlier today (09 February), D’ART SHTAJIO announced that they would be producing the animated pilot episode adapting the original comic XOGenaSYS, created by NBA star Johnny O’Bryant. Written by Tre McIntosh and illustrated by Nikolas A. Draper-Ivey, whose overwhelming talent led him from drawing fan art to his art commanding fans, the comic is available through Noir Caesar Entertainment, a company founded by O’Bryant to “to intertwine Japanese anime culture with African-American streetwear and hip-hop culture.” It seems that, like so many of us, O’Bryant was an avid fan of manga and anime in his youth who refused to relinquish those passions as he matured. He even founded his company to help nurture and share those passions: [https://www.noircaesar.com/].
Now the story contained in that original comic has been passed into the masterful hands of the staff at D’ART SHTAJIO. And what a story! In a grim but sadly recognizable near-future, young Darius Smith has been doing his best to avoid the gang life surrounding him. But his inherent talent as a fighter has attracted the unwanted attention of Timothy Mustafa, a powerful figure and owner of a highly successful XOGenaSYS team, XOGenaSYS being a gladiatorial sport in which fighters battle while wearing powered exoskeletons. Mustafa figures that combining Darius’ native skill with the added strength of the exoskeleton will result in an unbeatable contender and unlimited money-maker. And he isn’t interested in Darius’ disinterest, either. (Check out the actual comic, here: [https://www.noircaesar.com/xogenasys/].)
Folks, we’ve already seen great things from D’ART SHTAJIO–be sure that they’ll astound us again! And I’m very impressed with Noir Caesar, too. They’ve gathered immense talent and consequently offer some great products; I strongly urge you to follow the above links and visit. In my opinion, collaborations such as this between young companies indicate a healthy and growing strength in the anime market, particularly here in the U.S. Anime has finally become such a cultural staple here that we are now doing much more than influencing its production–we have created the means to legitimately make it ourselves. And lastly, I’d like to congratulate and thank Mr. Johnny O’Bryant: you stayed true to your passions, and then elevated them by sharing them with others. That’s incredibly inspiring, sir, and generous; I hope to see your behavior emulated. Kudos all around!